STeven Mead, RELIGIOUS EDUCATOR
Steven serves UU Santa Fe as Consulting Lifespan Learning Director
"If I had been less―less fortunate, the world would call it; if some obscure and peaceful life had been my destiny; if I had been poor, sick, helpless; would you have turned from me then?" ― Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
I've come to believe that everyone needs an Orphan. At least one. No, I don't mean necessarily a bonafide orphan, I mean something in your life that needs you to take care of it. Something, as St. Exupery would say you have "tamed" thus, obligating your faithfulness to it.
Your Orphan may be a cause, a relationship, or a care-taking. It may be a person, an animal, a garden, or a geas. It may be forgotten, unloved, or under-served. It may be something discarded, demeaned, or considered unworthy. It may be unappreciative, resistant, or rebellious. It may be living or it may be not. It may be wonderful. It may be not. Whatever it is, it's your Orphan. And woe to you if you turn away from it or neglect it.
Sometimes your Orphan will find you―whether you like it or not―whether you expect it or not―but most often, you will need to find it. Suziki Roshi reminds us, “The most important thing is remembering the most important thing.” Yes, your Orphan is a spiritual practice. Whatever your Orphan is, be deliberate with it. Be intentional. Because this is no Small Thing, your Orphan. It reminds you what the most important thing is―something beside and outside yourself. It places you in covenant―in relationship. It's your declaration that this life is important. What we do, matters.
Find your Orphan. See you on the playground.